I’m a city boy. My wife is a city girl. We both grew up with military dads and only lived the city life. We both kind of hated country music. I never understood the need for cowboy boots, hats or belt buckles. Neither one of us had been exposed much to the rural lifestyle. My mom’s parents had a little farm but we were military and weren’t around it much. The closest that I did growing up that could be considered rural was that I’d go on the deer hunt with my dad and most of the time that turned into a nature hike with the much lacking of deer. I used to see homes in the middle of nowhere (rural) and I’d think that these people are weirdos for wanting to be so far from everything.
I’m not sure why, but all of that changed for us in the spring of 2009. I was finishing up my masters of software engineering (what else would a city boy get a degree in?) when my wife and I were both really feeling a need for change. We even considered a move to Panama for a bit (trying to get a good English education for the kids put a damper on that one).
We had a new born son and two little girls and really felt like we needed something different for them. I started playing around with looking at homes on MLS. One day I noticed a house that seemed pretty nice and it had a big workshop in the back. I wanted a bigger garage so I thought we’d check it out. Another aspect of the property was that it had 3 acres of land. I had not really considered land but I figured it wouldn’t turn me away.
So we’re doing our typical sneak into the house thing and it’s a nice house. It was pretty much the same house plan of the house we had but with a lot more upgrades. We headed out into the back and we both had some kind of “moment”. The grassed backyard was a little bigger than our current place but it had around 2.5 acres of pasture behind the grassed yard. Behind the pasture was just wide open space to the Great Salt Lake. I felt such a peace and awe and really felt like this is something that I had been missing.
We tried to jump on that house but it was caught up in foreclosure and we still had to sell our home. What that house did was open our eyes to something that we never had considered, living in a place that wasn’t jammed right next to our other neighbors and to have the possibility to be a little more sustainable. I served an LDS mission to Puerto Rico and a lot of the country folk there had chickens. I thought they were pretty cool birds. I tried to convince my mom to get chickens when I got home but she was not having any of that. Well that was a must with our new vision of “home”. We started looking for homes that had at least .7 acres or more and were not confined by city/county/HOA rules that would prevent us from having chickens or other livestock.
We finally found some land that fit the bill that we were going to build on. We were all set with money down when we found out that the developer that owned the land and bank that financed the developer both bankrupted. The long story short was that we weren’t going to be building on that land.
We found a house that was almost out of our price range and was really too far out there but Amber liked the look of it and just wanted to see it, like that hasn’t bit me in the keister before. She thought she might get some ideas for the house we were going to build. As we drove to the house, we really liked the area, everything was so open and quaint. We walked in the door of the house and we both had another moment. The place felt like home and we were only three steps in. We both had complained how our last house never felt like home. I wasn’t enamored with the price or distance from work but I knew what I felt. This was the place to raise our family.
The hard part was that everybody thought we were crazy. Our realtor immediately tried to talk us out of it, said the house was weird. My mom really wasn’t pleased that we were moving so far away and don’t think she got the “farmy” thing. Amber’s family thought we were absolutely bonkers. They thought that we were going to be robbed, murdered and raped (yes, in that order) in our sleep because we were were so far from civilization. We felt very alone in making this change but we had no doubt that it was right for our family so we pressed on.
Moving out here has blessed our lives. We’ve been able to:
- get animals to enrich our lives
- develop a healthier lifestyle through Amber’s kitchen efforts and our garden
- better prepare ourselves for unfortunate events (bring on the zombie apocalypse baby!)
- let our children learn more responsibility by taking care of animals and the consequences of shirking those responsibilities
- teach our children about birth, life and death (those poor little baby chicks)
- develop a closer relationship through hard work on our farm together as a couple and family
- gain tons of knowledge by research and experience here on our farm
We’re definitely not done settling out here. We want to get better at our garden and fruit trees. We want to become more sustainable with our food and rely less on the nasty preprocessed foods. We also want to be better at being prepared by building up our food supply and getting out of debt. We do NOT plan on becoming home schoolers anytime soon (no insult to those that choose to do so), it’s just not our thing.
Some of our family have warmed to the idea of us being here. We both understand that a lot of people feel that we’re odd for wanting this lifestyle, they’re welcome to think that. We think they’re weird for wanting to be smushed together with everybody else. We both feel as though we were guided by the Lord to this home and lifestyle and that it is the best thing for our us and our kids. We’re weird and we’re quite ok with it.